Light distribution and perceived spaciousness: Light patterns in scale models
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Previous research showed that light distribution can affect the perception of spatial size and shape. However, most studies are limited to quantitative assessment of a few scenarios without explaining possible causes behind peoples’ experiences. This exploratory study aimed to reveal complex relationships between light patterns and perceived size, and to investigate how light patterns affect perceived spaciousness. A qualitative approach was used with pair-wise comparisons between systematic visual observations of scale models. The observations confirmed that illuminated walls increase spaciousness. Yet, darkness impacts the perception of spaciousness as well. Both compound and separated light zones can expand depth, height, or width, depending on the interpretation of these patterns of light seen in relation to the whole spatial context. Furthermore, the position of illuminated areas, with placements on edge or in the center, may additionally influence perceived size.

Spatial perception

Light pattern

Spatial enclosure

Light distribution

Lighting design




Ulrika Wänström Lindh

Tekniska högskolan i Jönköping

Monica Billger

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Arkitekturens teori och metod


20711050 (eISSN)

Vol. 13 22 12424





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